14 Years Ago

It’s hard to believe sometimes that I’ve been doing this as long as I have. Really, I’ve been blogging for longer than 14 years, but this inception of the blog was created on January 9th, 2005. I had been silent on the blogging front for a few years due to a lack of a computer in my early 20’s, but after getting one in late 2004 I managed to get back online and have kept a presence ever since. I’m a couple of days late on this anniversary post — for whatever reason it slipped my mind until today, and I feel obligated to put something out celebrating the occasion.

Long time readers will know I’ve been around some time, but there are only so many of us left from those days. A small handful of the blogs on my side bar have been doing this as long as I have with any sort of regularity. I call these folks members of the old guard, and to some extent, they are the last of a dying breed. I’m glad to see that there are others who have taken up the blogging mantle in more recent years and have kept up at it, but am equally saddened by those who got off to a good start but let their blogs stagnate and die. With so many other mediums taking away from the written word, I feel like it is our duty to keep writing alive.

This is why I appreciate events like the Newbie Blogger Initiative, Blaugust, and even things like NaNoWriMo. We shouldn’t let the written word die off as a source of entertainment, yet I am just as guilty of not reading books as much as I should. I do frequent the blogs on my side bar though, along with keeping up a respectable output of my own writing. Things have been good on the blogging front for a few years now for me, where I’ve not kept a schedule but have managed a decent amount of posts each month. I don’t always get the interaction that I want, but when I do it reminds me why I do this in the first place.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again:

Despite all the times I’ve said I only write for myself, I really do this for you. So thank you, dear reader. I hope you have enjoyed your stay in my little corner of the Internet.

Stay a while, and listen.

Blaugust Reborn

It’s been quiet on the blogging front for the past couple of years. The old vanguard of bloggers are still here and typing away, but many of the people I met over the course of the years via events like the Newbie Blogger Initiative and Blaugust have fallen by the wayside. Some have let their blogs die off, some have moved on to other creative endeavors like podcasting, streaming or vlogging, and others simply prefer to interact via social media or discord servers. The ebb and flow of content creation has hit us all at times; I’m no stranger to taking a break from things only to come back later and pick it back up.

This blog has been in existence since 2005, but my blogging “career” started back in the late 1990’s while I was still in high school and the Internet wasn’t nearly the phenomenon that it has become. I first heard about the NBI prior to my involvement, as it was started in 2012 by Syp of Bio Break/Massively Overpowered fame. Syp only planned on running the event the one time, so the 2013 edition ended up being late and after it had ended, there was a call put out for people to help organize the 2014 event. I took up the mantle, and along with people like Doone (who no longer blogs), Roger (from Contains Moderate Peril) and Eri (from Healing the Masses) we ran a very successful event helping new blogging hopefuls get started. Around this time I also started up the Couch Podtatoes podcast with Eri that would run for a couple of years.

In 2015, we participated in the event again, but this time the turnout wasn’t the same and things were less organized. I didn’t have much part in running the event either, but it still happened. 2016 was light again and we started a Discord server but by 2017 the event was pretty much dead. Blaugust sprung up as something a little bit different but still encouraging community interaction back in those early days, but wasn’t run last year either. With a full year devoid of any community events, it’s nice to see that Belghast has taken up the mantle and revived both Blaugust and the NBI for 2018. You can read about his ideas here.

There is a sign up to participate as a new blogger or a mentor (those who have been blogging for at least a couple of years). I’m not sure to what extent I will participate, but those of you who have seen me around for the last decade plus can always ask for advice, I’m happy to help. I will attempt to come up with some writing prompts and perhaps I’ll be able to squeeze out 31 posts for August. We still have this month to prepare so I’m sure that something will come of it.

If nothing else it will be nice to see an increased sense of awareness of the blogosphere and new content being pushed out from more people. If you haven’t done so already, send Bel a kind word or two for pushing the community to interact once more!

You can sign up for Blaugust/NBI stuff here.

Discord Server is here.

Looking forward to new stuff to read!

Lucky Number 13

Where does the time go?

It was back in 2005 that I started this blog and I honestly don’t know how I’m still doing it. It may not be as steady as some but it has stood the test of time moreso than others. It’s interesting to occasionally look back on old posts and find how much my thought patterns have changed in the last decade-plus; my life has assuredly changed as well. What was once something of a true “web log” has taken shape into a gaming blog that covers more than just those of the video kind. It’s been a long journey of self-discovery and perseverance, but I feel like I’d do it all over again given the chance. Barring some sort of post-apocalyptic or dystopian scenario, I hope to make this a hobby for life. It might not be regular, it might evolve, but it might also be something interesting for someone who knew me to read and take a journey through personal history and a life that might not be the most exciting but wasn’t exactly boring.

To those of you who have been around since the beginning, thank you. I’m proud to have entertained you throughout the years. For those of you who only know me in more recent years, I thank you as well. To anyone whose life I may have touched, thanks for being around.

As much as I write for myself, I write for you.

Ten Years of Me

Today marks ten years since I opened this blog. There have been many changes over the years, including going from the traditional HTML coding to using a free host with built in editors, a name change, format changes, different series that have come and went, and of course, a difference in the community involved here. I’ve also had my fair share of stagnant moments, some years where I only posted a handful of times, and others when I was truly active and talking about my adventures. Some of those adventures were of personal nature, and some were more gaming oriented. It wasn’t until 2013 that I really buckled down and said I’m going to keep posting regularly, and maintain less of a personal presence, and keep things about my hobbies. I do talk about personal stuff here and there still, but I really wanted this to just be a gaming blog and nothing else. If you go back far enough in the archives, you’ll see that this wasn’t always the case, and I probably should go back and edit out names or delete posts where I’ve made an ass out of myself, but I figure it’s better to leave it. You get to see how I’ve grown and changed throughout the years as a result, though I seriously doubt people are going back and reading ten year old posts. I know I don’t dive down that rabbit hole very often either.

Either way, I like to think that my personality shines through even when I’m talking about games, movies, music, or some other hot-button topic. I try to maintain a balance between presenting the facts, and peppering in my own sarcastic wit. It’s part of my charm. That, or you hate it. Either way you’re still reading, because my readership has steadily increased over the years.

Looking through stats and analytics, I find that the most popular topics I’ve talked about were MMOs I used to play, League of Legends, and other posts that just so happened to have some pertinent keywords. There’s a post with the title of “Syrup Shoes” that gets regular traffic, despite the fact that people are searching for a brand of shoes, not for a story about one sibling pouring syrup in her sibling’s shoes. It’s interesting to see the things that you write that bring in the most traffic. I wrote a post about “What race is best for X class,” for Everquest II, which used to have racial abilities that would be best suited for particular classes. I then addressed the topic again when changes came through in the game and eliminated most of what I had talked about. Those posts still get traffic, and the information is basically meaningless at this point. My “Norrathian Newbie” series that was short lived but had some decent information contained within still gets traffic as well, but with Everquest II being a game that’s on life support, these posts are starting to die as well.

Many other posts surprise me, because they get so much traffic or cause a stir in the community. My most commented on posts revolve around Sexism and my love for PvP, which I suppose are worthy hot-button topics, but sometimes the posts I’m the most proud of having written don’t get many views, likes or comments. Blogging is a funny thing because you are writing what you want to write (write for yourself) but you want people to participate or give you that pat on the back when you write something awesome. For anyone who gets discouraged when looking at their site stats, just remember to give it time. You will find your audience and they will continue to come back. For the days that they aren’t around, remember that you started down this road to write for yourself.

I really don’t have much more to say, it’s been a fantastic ten years when it comes to gaming and blogging, and I look forward to being able to make a post like this again when I hit 20 years. Thanks for being a part of this community and supporting my efforts!

#blogging #community #anniversary #10years

The Year in Blogging 2014

For the last few years WordPress hosted sites have received a set of stats aptly called the “[year] in review.” I posted my results yesterday, mainly because this was my best year in blogging since I have been running with this incarnation of my blog. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’ve been blogging since the late 1990’s, but this iteration has been in existence since 2005, and I’ve been hosted by WordPress since 2007. I’ve received the review before, but there wasn’t really anything noteworthy to share. This year was in contrast to that attitude, though I’m still not as big as some of our community, I was still proud to have more than doubled previous yearly highs in views and post. It felt worth sharing this time too, because I know I have a pretty decent readership at this point, largely due in part to my involvement in the community that has sprung forward this year. Many of us may have been around for longer than just this year, but we weren’t as interconnected, and that is the major milestone for the year.

Of course, I can’t take credit for anything on my own. I didn’t create this community, I just became a part of it. I didn’t force anyone to start blogging, though I hope I helped to inspire the sense of community, and maybe someone started or kept on blogging because of it. Blogging has been an integral part of my life for many years now, and though I’ve had points where I slacked off, I have always come back to it, and this year has been awesome because of it. I became familiar with many new people, helped run or was involved in events, started a podcast and joined Twitter. All in all it has been a fantastic year and many of you helped me to get through some rough times by just letting me be me, to vent or rant about what came to mind, and to comment, re-blog or counter post.


None of this would have been possible without the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Had I not decided to get involved with that yearly event, I wouldn’t be in this position today, with so many people I’ll probably never actually meet, yet who I consider friends. I remember points in time previous to this year where I wished to be part of a larger community, be it via blogging, social networking or gaming, and that never came into fruition. Sure, there were communities out there, but they all seemed to be segregated to their own little corners of the web. Sure, our community is probably just as much a small corner of the greater Internet, but it feels like it’s consistently growing and the more effort we put into it, just by continuing to contribute our thoughts to the collective, the more it is likely to grow. No matter how much we might disagree about semantics, we can all agree that growing this community has been a rewarding experience.


It goes beyond just the NBI though. Belghast of Tales from the Aggronaut decided the momentum needed to continue, and formulated the Blaugust challenge. As a daily poster himself, he thought it would be a great idea to challenge the rest of us to follow suit for one month. I answered the challenge, as did many others. It brought us all together, pooling ideas and drawing inspiration from one another to get through it. Most of us (myself included) didn’t keep to a daily posting schedule, but I surely post more now than I did before these events.


I tried my hand in running an event as well, not only to help keep our community busy throughout the year (we still need someone to step up with a spring event), but also to combat gamergate and all of the shitty things happening in the game industry in the months leading up to October. Bragtoberfest was my answer to the negativity, in which we could get together to play games and in turn blog about them. I also challenged folks to brag about their achievements in games, because what better feeling is it than to meet your goals in games? Of course, that didn’t cure the gamergate disease all by itself, much of the foolishness is still going on, but I hope that it at least took people’s minds off the negativity for a while.


December was upon us quickly, and this year Syl of MMOGypsy.com decided that we needed to create a virtual advent calendar on the web. Bloggy Xmas was born, and members of the community wrote posts around the topic of gaming and community. I participated in this, right around the beginning of the month. You can check out all of the awesome posts on the official blog. We were also treated to Listmas (which also happened last year) courtesy of Murf and United We Game. I also participated in this, coming up with a couple of lists that won’t win any awards 😀


It would be remiss of me to not mention the Podcast that myself and Eri of Healing the Masses started back in June. Not only has it been a blast to come up with different ideas and then totally crack jokes and not take anything seriously, but it has also been a way to convey our feelings about various issues surrounding the gaming industry. I’m hoping to be doing this for a very long time, but we’ll see how long she can stand me and my Aussie jokes. We were also kindly invited to a larger group of podcasters from our existing community that came together to form The Gaming and Entertainment Network (TGEN), which has been a fantastic experience as well.


I can’t say that the year has been entirely positive though. Aside from the gamergate fiasco and some of my own personal woes, we lost an amazing guy who was a fellow blogger. River passed away this year and the community was devastated. We took to our blogs to say our goodbyes, and posted pics of scantily clad women as was his style, as tribute. He is still missed. Another passing of the torch occurred more recently, when Roger, Brian and Sean decided to throw in the towel on the Contains Moderate Peril podcast. I was personally affected by this, as my guest spot on the show was my first podcast experience, and Roger had been a mentor in the field of podcasting for me, but I know that he’s still active on his blog so it’s not a total loss.

There have been some other great round-ups of the year, and here are a few of them:

Satisfaction of the Year – Belghast
A Year in Blogging and Podcasting – Roger
Link Dead Radio – A Blogging Year in Review – Eri

Here are some of my best posts of the year, that sparked dialogue amongst the community:

Foot in Mouth
Nice Guys Can Be Killers Too
PvP Uncensored

Overall I feel like it’s been a great year to be a blogger and a podcaster. Here’s to many more to come!

#blogging #podcasting #community